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20-Dec-2015

Bangalore Mirror | Obsessing Over Nothing

Your maid takes off one day, and you moan and groan about the chores to be done. But what if your help was also a nosy, controlling personality who thinks it's his duty to make everything 'wrong' in your life right? He decides everything from where the furniture should be placed to who your soulmate should be. Now, that 'day off' doesn't sound so bad, does it?

Written and put together by Rohit Tiwari of Mumbai-based theatre group Theatrewalas, the comical drama OCD is about a carefree young man Rohan in his late 20s. It begins on the second day of the New Year, when Rohan receives a letter from OC Chacha of his arrival in the coming week. Rohan was born in a royal family, his father being the Late Shri Rao Ratan Singh of Rajaurgarh, with whom Rohan had broken off ties long ago. On the death of his father, Rohan sells his ancestral fort and takes in OC Chacha, the family servant, into his humble flat. Interestingly, OC chacha is actually named OCD in the play, which is an abbreviation of his full name. In an attempt to keep his master's house, as well as life in order, the help often crosses boundaries, thus giving rise to awkward situations. The protagonist, OC chacha, is a turbaned Rajasthani butler who is always striving to keep things ridiculously neat and tidy, which makes him the ideal domestic help on paper.

Soon, OC's idiosyncrasies start crowding Rohan's lifestyle and eventually relationships. For instance, doesn't like even numbers and is convinced that one should stay away from women, because nothing good can come out of associating with the fairer sex. Witnessing OC's unwavering eccentricities like switching on the house lights in a particular order before opening the door, rearranging furniture so that Rohan doesn't sit close to his girlfriend, it soon dawns upon him that OC is compulsively obnoxious. But since OC Chacha has been a part of Rohan's family for years and is almost an heirloom, it is difficult for Rohan to get rid of him.

The conflict between the master and the help peaks when the latter sabotages Rohan's plans to propose to his lady love. But an emotional monologue delivered by Chacha triumphs Rohan's anger, as he reveals why he is the way he is. The end could appear forced, with a monologue defending all of OC Chacha's eccentricities.

OCD showcases human eccentricities at its best in its 90 minutes, but rib-tickling comedy is not Tiwari's sole aim. By representing the idiosyncrasies of OC Chacha, and the supposed "normalcy" of Rohan, who often makes fun of the elderly man, Tiwari is trying to establish that "not everyone who is different is a lunatic".

The stage design is minimal, but it recreates the drawing room of Rohan's house, breaking down the fourth wall for the audience to peek in. A play based on the slice-of-life concept, OCD maintains a light-hearted and uncomplicated tone.

OCD

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Jagriti

Jagriti is a Performance Arts space dedicated to Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy. Founded in 2011 by Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, the space has hosted several productions from India and around the world. A 200-seat theatre built around a full-thrust stage, it is fully equipped to cater to both artistes and audience. The main stage is designed for intimate performances, with adjoining spaces for informal lectures and gatherings, and an attached restaurant. Jagriti is owned and operated by the not-for profit ART Foundation, a registered charitable trust.

The Rooftop - above the main auditorium is an open-to-sky space with a stage area that can accommodate about 50 people. A raised and walled off platform can work as a perfect area for puppet theatre. The Rooftop has a restroom and a pantry. 

The Terrace - alongside the auditorium can accommodate about 20 people as an informal gathering area.

Lumbini - extending out from the foyer, Lumbini has a stage and an open-to-sky terraced space for about 80 people.